Resistance from coachees is a problem met by executive coaches in all fields. The continued interest in executive coaching by organisations has seen coaching beginning to be used more widely. An increasing number of low and average performing managers are following their high performing peers into the executive coaching room. One particular challenge facing the coaching psychologist is how to engage individuals where motivation for change is low.
This paper draws on a five-stage model for behaviour change and an approach developed in the clinical setting which can usefully be applied to executive coaching to help the coaching psychologist address some of these behavioural challenges and add to their core coaching techniques through combining Motivational Interviewing (MI) techniques with their existing repertoire of skills.
The paper starts with a review of the development of motivational interviewing, before moving to explore the evidence for MI as an intervention, which is largely within the health sector. The paper builds on this
evidence by exploring how MI may be applied within non-clinical settings, as a tool to address poor performance resulting from low motivation to change. The paper also suggests other potential uses for MI
such as in health coaching around stop smoking campaigns or obesity.
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